Fruits and vegetables are extremely perishable foods. In the tropics and subtropics, 40 to 50% of the most perishable of these are lost during their journey through the agri-food chain due to rotting, drying, injuries due to mechanization during collection, packaging and transport, or because of means of transport. Losses also occur during storage, preparation at home or in catering services.
In addition, in many developing countries, only a limited amount of fruit and vegetable products are destined for local or export markets due to a lack of equipment and infrastructure.
To limit these high losses, it is necessary to adopt various conservation measures that will minimize them during harvesting, handling, storage, packaging and processing.